Otezla: Birth Defects and Suicide

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February 27, 2017 | 6 Comments


  1. Whilst I find this such an interesting read, it also frightens the life out of me! It’s interesting how companies are now owning up and providing warnings of possible side effects of their drugs – but, knowing these companies as we do, I immediately find myself working out what’s in it for them. The warnings are there for a reason for sure – but, unfortunately, we can bet that the reason is not the well being of the patient.
    With so many drug names – and a variety of names for each single drug, I can certainly see how easy it would be to find yourself using one of these drugs without realising what could happen. Yes, it warns you on the box – but if ALL new drugs, from now on, are appearing with such a warning, will we still heed the said warnings? I think I’ll need a ‘wallet card’ listing the names of these new drugs – just in case!
    Why, oh why, can we not be satisfied with changing our lifestyles to suit our ailments – many of which, after all, are outward signs of a reaction within, to something which does not agree with us. Why do we feel that pumping chemicals into an already suffering body is going to work to the good? We are so aware of the dangers of pollutants in the air that we breathe – caused by chemicals and yet we merrily add to our systems by means of a prescription. Is it any wonder our systems fail – be it physically or mentally?

  2. Well said Mary! Madness is in the air, and it’s not coming from the patients. Why doesn’t Joe Public see it? Why are they sleepwalking into trouble, clutching their prescriptions, shutting down their intuitive brains and common sense? Like you say, it frightens the life out of me too. Is all this Pharma stuff going to ultimately annihilate us, the equivalent of plague or dinosaurs?

    • I reckon that Joe Public doesn’t see it because Joe Public hasn’t experienced it Heather. We fully appreciate the possible harms simply because we’ve witnessed them. I’ve often said that, had I not witnessed the devastation these drugs can cause, I would not believe it either. The reactions are so sinister that, to my mind, words cannot possibly create a true picture of the suffering. Each and every one of us draws on personal experience to understand a message communicated to us by language – lack of experience leaves us unable to truly picture the real depths of the experience. I think it is for this reason that Joe Public cannot picture the possible reactions of taking these drugs – this, plus the fact that such things happen to others and never to one’s self. The message of ‘safety versus danger’ has always been one that we have difficulties with – we see that with tobacco, for example; ‘smoking kills’ is stated on the cigarette packet, yet many still smoke. This is my fear for the new ways with prescribed drugs – the warning may be there, but many will make the choice to ignore it. It is so obviously beneficial to the big companies to ‘show their hand’ in this way – no one can then turn round, when in the depths of the side-effects, and say that any of their suffering was unexpected. If ever there was a ‘win win’ situation – this is it!

  3. James Moore


    28 Feb 2017 — Hello

    As we approach 1,500 signatures again I want to say thank you, you’re amazing.

    Also, I’m posting this because I need your help with a little project. I am in the early stages of putting together a new audio podcast, which will discuss antidepressants and withdrawal. As part of the podcast, I want to interview people to get the real experiences of someone who has either tried to come off or who has stopped completely. As well as users experiences, I want to interview practitioners/professionals about the alternatives to the biomedical model of treatment and also about the worrying trend of increasing antidepressant prescribing.

    What I need is a 20 minute slot to interview you via Skype, you could see the questions in advance and you can even be anonymous if you wanted to.

    I have already interviewed Professor John Read and Dr. David Healy, amongst others. There is a huge amount of positive promotion of antidepressants out there, but very little which tells the real story. I want to help change the balance.

    If you wanted to find out more, or you were interested in being interviewed, please email me on feedback@jfmoore.co.uk I am planning on making the podcast available by mid to end of March. Thanks so much for your time, for your signatures and for your support.

    “Very little which tells the real story”



  4. I can’t help but get angry at the targeting of women for these toxic drugs. Again. And using the same ancient, toxic message: Your looks are the most important thing about you. Nothing else really matters. So, no risk is too big to take, right? (Of course, they also count on us not to really take in the enormity of the risks, which are hard to focus on when you’re watching something that looks for all the world like a perfume or cosmetics ad.)

    Actually, psoriasis affects equal numbers of women and men, they say. And onset can be anywhere from childhood to late middle age. A look back at last week’s column, with links to the studies of brodalumab or “Siliq,” showed me one more trick in the drug-company playbook.

    Pharma puts young women front and center when *promoting* these drugs. Yet Siliq, at least, was *tested* on a group that was 69% male–and about two-thirds over forty! What an odd choice … or is it?

    In fact it’s a smart dodge when you are dealing with a drug that’s showing worrisome levels of both suicidal behavior, and heart attacks. Although the popular press might lead you to think teens and young adults are at highest risk for suicide, actually it’s middle-aged men. In 2015, the suicide rate for U.S. women in their twenties was between 5.5 and 6 per 100,000. The rate for men in their fifties was roughly 31 per 100,000. And older men, of course, have far more heart attacks than younger women. (All this is in addition to above-average rates of both depression and cardiac problems in people with psoriasis, for reasons that are not well understood.)

    Looks to me like the makers of Siliq went out of their way to assemble a test pool with a high background rate of suicidal and cardiac “events.” A couple of each in the placebo group can go a long way to make a dicey drug look not quite so bad …

  5. I took Otezla for 3 months in 2014. I developed peripheral neuropathy while taking it, so I stopped taking it. I still have peripheral neuropathy that causes severe burning pain in my feet. I had to stop working and I have applied for SSD. I am 53 and have Sjogren’s Syndrome. The doc who prescribed Otezla insisted I had psoriatic arthritis, but all other doctors have said that it is Sjogren’s and Discoid Lupus. My blood is positive for Sjogren’s. The doc who prescribed the Otezla said that my newly developed peripheral neuropathy could not possibly be from Otezla. She tried to say it was from pre-diabetes (type II) stupid woman! My non-fasting blood sugar was 76… no diabetes!

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